Wine of the Month
Featured Wine: Caravaglio Nero du Munti Corinto Nero
Grape Variety: 100% Corinto Nero
Aging: 12 months in stainless steel and oak
Color: Deep Ruby Red
When I was younger, my love for all things Italian-American was intense. I loved watching the girls with all of their makeup and gold chains. Of course I loved all of the pizza and hoagie shops, but I especially loved the Southern Italian boys with their olive skin and lovely brown eyes; they were brooding and aloof. Then I actually fell in love with a gorgeous Italian boy and he fell in love with me; things changed. He became much less aloof (still brooding), he was all encompassing, I was his and he was mine. It was delicious, I had butterflies an entire summer. Caravaglio Nero du Munti, this month’s wine, can be described much the same; it truly is all encompassing, delicious and, well, it did give me butterflies (not as fun as young love butterflies, but still nice).
Antonino Caravaglio’s vineyards are on the beautiful Aeolian Islands in Italy; I mean seriously, it looks like a place I could only dream of living, surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea with fields of olive trees, capers, and grapes. His family has been cultivating crops on this land since the 16th century. Caravaglio took over in 1989 and expanded the wine business, respecting tradition and embracing organic farming. Oh, how I long to visit Southern Italy just to eat, drink and surround myself in its beauty.
Alright, enough dreaming, now to the wine; and believe me, it is dreamy enough on its own. First, allow this wine to open up, give it 15-30 minutes. Pour yourself a glass, look at the beauty and breathe in simple earth, spice, licorice, ripe cherry, ripe plum, stone fruit, raisin, a touch of leather and pure depth. The nose alone will help you fall in love with Nero du Munti; but then you take a sip and wow! The wine is so well rounded, everything so good together, you may need to pause in order to appreciate each distinct flavor; blueberry, spice, semi-sweet black cherry, blackberry, the tannins slowly creeping in for a long dry finish filled with fruit and a hint of licorice that lingers lovingly. There is a touch of tart cherry with this little surprise of nectarine in the finish, but it is still pretty low in acidity.
I take notes while I am sampling each wine and once in a blue moon, I find things that make me smile. This time, I wrote, ‘This wine is perfect for a rainy night,. It is like a warm comforter on a cold night and on that same night, you look up at the sky and see so many stars your heart aches. It is GOOD!’ Okay, I definitely wrote this at the very end of my second glass…
My pairings were simple; when you have an incredible wine, simple foods can be best. My first pairing was with a broiled whole white fish, simply painted with a melted butter and olive oil mix, seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon slices and capers, finished with a bit of grated Romano. Oh, how I loved this combination. The fish was flavorful and tender, extra salty from the Romano; Nero du Munti finessed the flavors taking the salty butteriness to new heights. The second pairing was grilled filet mignon (rare) seasoned with only salt and a little garlic, mashed potatoes sprinkled with fresh basil and a simple salad. This too was perfect. Nero du Munti is a luxurious wine which definitely goes great with red meat, but with the lovely fruit essence was great with fish too; if I had access to octopus, I believe that would be a wonderful pairing. Honestly, you cannot go wrong. I bet it would be good with a bowl of popcorn (a lot of wine actually is).
As I’ve said over and over, this wine is soooooo good, so why not introduce your friends to Nero du Munti? Blow their minds! I love the month of May and in most places, it is the perfect month to dine alfresco, so do it! Set up the table with some vases full of iris and lemon grass, fire up the grill, salt up some steaks or a whole fish, throw some baking potatoes and fresh corn on the grill and enjoy the wine, your friends and simple delicious food. I think Elvis Costello crooning in the background would make this wonderful evening perfect; crickets would be nice too.
What a beautiful wine, from old vines of an exceptional native grape, grown and vinified by a skilled man who embraces the environment and culture that surrounds him. How could this wine be anything but delicious? Nero du Munti is as delicious as young love.